HomeNews Gunnison RE1J school board picks Tredway as new superintendent
Gunnison RE1J school board picks Tredway as new superintendent
Written by Seth Mensing
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Takes over for Nelson July 1
The Gunnison Watershed RE1J school board voted unanimously to hire Gunnison Middle School principal Doug Tredway as the district’s new superintendent of schools. Tredway will take over for retiring superintendent Jon Nelson on July 1.
The school board interviewed Tredway and Gunnison High School principal Andy Hanks, the two local candidates for the job, at a special meeting on Monday, March 25. Each board member asked questions in turn, ranging from how past experience might shape future performance to how each candidate would manage a promotion to superintendent among their peers. Tredway has a long history in Gunnison, moving to town in 1964 when he was just four-years-old. He started kindergarten at Lake School and graduated from Gunnison High. His move into education was a natural one that followed in the footsteps of his father, who taught elementary education at Western State College for 40 years. After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa, Tredway jumped right into the profession, starting as a Physical Education and industrial arts teacher at the district in 1983. “Even at that point I was kind of interested in leadership,” Tredways says. “I got involved with [Gunnison County Educational Association] and even did a short stint as president.” He helped bring the first Mac computer lab to the district and got his master’s degree from Western State College in 1986. By 1991, Tredway was moving into the administration, serving as assistant principal at the Gunnison Middle School. Prior to becoming dean of students at the Gunnison Community School in 2000 and then middle school principal in 2003, Tredway took his craft on the road, teaching in New South Wales and then in Scotland for a year apiece. Then 2009, Tredway filled in for an administrator on a leave of absence, again in Australia. “They were all different systems and it gave me a different perspective,” Tredway says. “It did help me appreciate some of the things we have going here and also gave me a more global picture of education.” After returning from his last exchange, Tredway implemented a weekly assembly like the ones common in Australia that brings the entire student body together. When the district interviewed for a superintendent five years ago, Tredway was a finalist and for the last couple of years, he’s been present at nearly every school board meeting, observing the proceedings and offering things where he can. He was very active in introducing the district to author Jamie Vollmer, whose book, Schools Can’t Do It Alone is guiding the district’s efforts at outreach and communication. He’s eager to see that initiative grow and do more to engage parents and people in the community about what’s happening at the schools. “Education has changed a lot since I graduated from Gunnison High School and even in my tenure it’s changed. It doesn’t look the same,” Tredway says. “We need to do a good job of communicating what we’re doing and how we’re helping students be successful.” And the changes keep coming, with school district revenues seeming to fall every year and the mandates piling up. “The financial side is our biggest challenge in continuing to offer high quality programs with diminishing revenues,” he says. “It will be difficult.” But along with what Tredway says is a crop of teachers that could stack up with any in the state, he’s ready to get to work. Until Tredway officially takes over the superintendent’s job July 1, he will be working closely with Nelson. The district posted the Middle School Principal’s position as open on Tuesday, March 26.